From Delegate Kathy Szeliga:
Referendum Update: Gay Marriage
Last night, the Maryland Senate passed the Gay Marriage Bill 25-22. It will now go to the Governor for his signature. I understand he will sign the gay marriage bill on March 1st. However, the law will not take affect until after we have an opportunity to petition the measure to the ballot.
Regardless of your position on this issue, it is important for the citizens of Maryland to have a voice and vote on this piece of legislation. I am proud to be working in conjunction with my colleagues to bring Same Sex Marriage to referendum and ultimately get it on the ballot for the November 6th 2012 election.
Petitioning a bill/law to the ballot is a lengthy and hard process but I am confident that we can obtain enough signatures to put this issue on the ballot. Rest assured I will e-mail you with how to get involved, volunteer and how you can sign the petition.
I will update you about this process as more details become available, please check https://mdpetitions.com/in the meantime.
Every Marylander deserves to have a voice on this important issue.
SIGN THE BALLOT REFERENDUM PETITION (coming soon)
VOTE ON NOVEMBER 6TH
This measure proposed by O’Malley-Brown will phase out your mortgage interest deduction on your income taxes for single people making $100K and $150K for a couple. This tax policy would absolutely affect sales of homes as potential buyers calculate what they can afford.
I am outraged that the governor wants to increase taxes on the “new rich” or “thousandaires.” This is just another tax on Maryland families, estimates are that this would increase taxes for 20% of Marylanders, but I think this estimate is low. Maryland ranks as one of the wealthiest states in the country. Even the President said in his State of The Union speech that taxes should not increase on those who make under $250K per year.
If O’Malley-Brown wants to raise taxes on income, they should propose to change the income tax rates not sneak it in through the back door by reducing deductions and exemptions on income taxes.
Some have suggested raising the income limit to $250K. I am opposed to that too. This is just bad tax policy and will just make our tax system more complicated. It’s time to simply our tax system, not make it more convoluted.
You can count on me to work to defeat this new tax.
Boat Fees on the Rise
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has proposed an increase in boat registration fees (HB1307). As presented this bill would increase boat registration fees by HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS per boat.
Currently a 2-year registration costs $24. However, this bill seeks to increase that fee based on the size of the boat. Boats up to 32 feet will pay $125 for a two-year registration while vessels greater than 65 feet will pay $700!
This change would make Maryland much more expensive than Delaware, where the largest boats cost $60 a year and Virginia, where a three-year registration fee maxes out at $45.
As the home of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland has a lot to offer the nearly 200,000 boaters who live here. We have an entire industry in Maryland that revolves around boating – mostly small family owned operations. This is yet another tax policy that makes Maryland uncompetitive with surrounding states and also hurts small businesses. I am opposed to this huge fee increase.
In Baltimore and Harford Counties, we have hundreds of miles of shoreline. We have many marinas and scores of boaters that enjoy the Bowleys Quarters/Middle River/Essex/Joppa areas – my legisaltive district.
Baltimore County Marine Trades Association publishes a great waterfront guide and offers information about all the businesses and services along the Baltimore County waterfront – you can access it here:
Planning to Garden this Spring?
Check out the University of Maryland Extension programs to help make the most out of your spring, summer and fall gardens.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!
Delegate Kathy Szeliga